I recently created a simple tool that has been helping people have an easier time with their relationships. I call it “Scripting” because you actually ask the other person to say exactly what you want to hear in a given situation. Obviously, you wouldn’t want to employ this technique all the time, but it is an excellent remedy for listening to what you don’t want to hear and getting your knickers in a twist over it. In other words: it will help you avoid conflict.
Let’s say you are ready to tell your best friend, parent, or partner something. In the past s/he has reacted in ways that you have found frustrating. S/He innocently said the wrong thing. This happens all the time, and we can usually ignore it, but when it’s in reaction to something we view as important we’re more likely to respond defensively and spark an argument.
In the past, fearing an annoying response, you may have avoided sharing your good fortune or sad news, thereby missing out on the joy or support you would have liked. Now, you will tell the other person that you want to say something important and it would mean a lot to you if they would react the way you wish they would. You are going to tell them, word for word, what their ideal response would be. You then ask if they can please say those things to you after you’re done sharing your news. (In my practice, everyone who has asked for this has gotten it.)
There is nothing so lovely as having someone close to you say what you so want to hear. This isn’t just great for you, it’s great for them because they get to have the reaction they wanted but might not have known how to get.
By practicing this technique you and your significant others get a feel for the responses you each desire. In time, those become the automatic reactions and your relationship reaches a new level of understanding and compassion.
Copyright Nicole S. Urdang